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[dennou-ruby:000970] Re: ruby-dcl, advanceddcl

Dear Jeff,

> Hi:
> I've just discovered your web pages, and gave these products a try.  I
> think they would be very useful for people in our lab (the Climate
> Diagnostics Center).  Has there been any progress on English
> Documentation?  I'd be willing to be a beta-tester, or editor, of any docs
> you might be working on.
> Thanks!
> -Jeff
>  --
> Jeffrey S. Whitaker         Phone  : (303)497-6313
> Meteorologist               FAX    : (303)497-6449
> NOAA/OAR/CDC  R/CDC1        Email  : jsw@xxxxxx
> 325 Broadway                Web    : www.cdc.noaa.gov/~jsw
> Boulder, CO, USA 80303-3328 Office : Skaggs Research Cntr 1D-124

Thank you for the encouraging message. The manual of the DCL
graphic library (Fortran version:
http://www.gfd-dennou.org/arch/dcl/dcl-f77doc/rc1/index.html) is
now underway by a contract translator. Since it is a large
volume, it takes some time -- our contract is to complete it by
February. As soon as it is translated, we will merge it into our
"AdvancedDCL" documentation right away. (RubyDCL does not need
independent documentation, since it is a one-to-one wrapper of
the Fortran version except for the difference in calling
sequence described in
We expect some first parts be translated by January, so the
English documentation construction will start in the next
month. We are also planing to have English translation of DCL
tutorials in the next fiscal year which starts in April.

Thank you for volunteering for beta testing. As for graphic
libraries, it may give you some idea by trying out some demo
programs. RubyDCL and AdvancedDCL have a number of demo programs 
--- although in terms of Ruby programming most of them are
awkward, since it is naively translated from the demo programs in
the Fortran distribution. RubyNetCDF also has two demos that use
DCL. See demo2 and demo3 in

We will keep informing you of updates of the project.
I will ask the manager of the "Dennou Ruby" developers' mailing
list to include you as a sender so as not to reject your emails
while not distributing emails to you (since most of them are in
Japanese). So far we do not have a mailing list for users.


 * An exception handler specific to DCL will soon be replaced
   with one for Ruby. (The original one terminates the program,
   which would be unpleasant for interactive use).

 * We will upload AdvancedDCL ver 0.2.1 soon


 * We (Kawanabe and I) are now devloping a library to handle
   self-descriptive physical quantities. The following piece of
   text describes an overwiew its idea:

 | Object-oriented handling of numerical data for scientific analysis and
 | visualization -- basic idea and implementation for Ruby
 | Takeshi Horinouchi and Naoki Kawanabe
 | Kinds and size of data an atmospheric scientist deals with have been
 | increasing rapidly as global research corporation and computer power
 | grow. To manage this situation, it would be needed for him or her to
 | have a software or a programming library with which different kinds of
 | data can be treated efficiently in a consolidated way. The
 | consolidation may be achieved by making use of the object-oriented
 | way to separate data and accessors to them. We propose a framework to
 | realize it and implement it with the object-oriented language Ruby.
 | Numerical data of physical quantities that we handle are typically
 | gridded, whether regularly or not. A first step to handle the data
 | concisely would be to combine them with their grid values and other
 | information such as units to form an "object". This is the way of
 | organizing data that file formats such as NetCDF and HDF4 suppose to
 | make the data self-descriptive. Then it becomes possible to devise
 | abstract operations on the data as physical quantities rather than
 | just as numerical arrays. An example of such operations is to slice a
 | multi-dimensional data in terms of physical coordinate values. The
 | organization into an object would also serve for visualization, since
 | axes and titles can be drawn automatically from information stored in
 | the object.
 | By using object-oriented languages, we can hide internal structure of
 | a data object from the user and make him or her access them only
 | through abstract operations. The accessors can be the same in many
 | cases whether the actual data resides entirely on computer memory or
 | are kept in a file (letting the data object consisting of file
 | handlers). Self-descriptive file formats such as those stated above
 | can easily be adapted to this framework, and even non-self-descriptive
 | formats can be conformed to it if the user provides ancillary
 | information needed.
 | To realize such data handling we have been developing a class library
 | for use in the object-oriented language Ruby. Since broad formats can
 | be covered and the accessors to data will be consolidated as much as
 | possible, users of the library would naturally develop applications
 | that can be used easily by others. Therefore, the library is expected
 | to become a basis on which data-handling applications are developed
 | and shared in research communities.
 | Ruby is perhaps the best object-oriented scripting language to date
 | and is freely available from http://www.ruby-lang.org. Since it can be
 | used interactively, it is suitable for interactive data analysis. Yet,
 | an interactive trial and error can be organized smoothly into a
 | program if needed. Since Ruby offers strong network support, we are
 | envisioning to extend our library to be able to handle remotely-stored
 | data.

Best reagrds,


Takeshi Horinouchi  --  horinout@xxxxxx
Radio Science Center for Space and Atmosphere (RASC)
Kyoto Univ., Uji, 611-0011, Japan
phone:+81-774-38-3812  fax:+81-774-31-8463